Pete’s a Pizza is a children’s book about a boy named Pete, whose father finds a creative way to cheer him up when he notices Pete’s feeling down. This book highlights the importance of parents’ awareness of their children’s emotions and the benefits of fun and games at home.
Pete’s father decides to make Pete into a pizza as a way to get him out of his slump. Pete’s father cheers Pete up by paying attention to his mood and doing something fun, which in turn helps Pete learn to regulate his emotion response. By the end of the story, Pete’s in a good mood and feels more connected to his parents, who showed that they cared about him by making the “pizza” and being attentive. The story is cleverly presented in a “recipe format,” with steps to preparing the pizza – Pete’s father “starts kneading the dough, and stretches it this way and that.” Instructions are given for adding all the ingredients to the pizza, and when the pizza is about to be “cut” (actually tickled, by Pete’s dad), Pete runs around the house laughing. Pete’s father had succeeded in making Pete laugh and feel better, by engaging him in this silly game.
How can parents use this book?
1) Act it out: The great thing about Pete’s a Pizza is that the directions for the “recipe” can be acted out. For example, one parent can be reading the book aloud while the other parent sprinkles the “flour” (really talcum powder), “cheese” (really pieces of paper) and so on. It’s fun for everyone involved because the book reading turns into a live activity with some silly role-playing. This is a great way for both parents to play a role in interacting with their children, and ultimately create some laughs and fun.
2) Apply the “make a pizza” idea to another food: As parents, you can easily adapt the idea from Pete’s a Pizza to some other food item, like a sandwich with all the components – bread, lettuce, tomatoes, meat, condiments, etc. and then substitute these ingredients with other things instead.
You can search for the title in Burnaby or Vancouver public libraries at: